This may seem a strange topic for a prepper but it is something you can and should be doing now as preppers. How many of you honestly believe that our country if not the world is heading for a major change event of some sort. Do you see it as a full blown war worldwide or “merely” a societal collapse due to a great depression? Are you expecting an EMP that disrupts power grids everywhere or perhaps some horrendous natural disaster that creates domino effect collapses around the world? As you prepare for those various scenarios, how do you want to rebuild your hometown, your country, even the world? I’m not just talking physically rebuild. I am not even referring to politics here. It is more important to think in terms of your own family units (even those that are made of members who are not blood related) and community.
What is it that you want your young family members to hold dear to? Have you thought what those young children will think about family, friends, community? The abstract ideas of liberty, freedom, even political loyalties will often be beyond the grasp of the younger members of your group. Think back to the stories told by young Holocaust victims. They remember bits and pieces of family life. Some of the snatches of memories are because they were too young to have enough memories to hold on to but they tell of special holidays, maybe church days going to synagogue together, or lighting candles on Sabbath, favorite foods, the smell of cooking at grandma’s house.
I have talked about fun grandma days when my granddaughters have spent time in the kitchen with me canning pickles or jam or baking cookies. I also mentioned that I like to have special holiday displays and traditions for our kids – for instance I bought sets of Christmas dishes (on sale or garage sale and off eBay cheaply) so that someday each will have a set of dishes they can remember using at grandma’s house. I have also made family cookbooks of favorite family recipes with photos of who was “known” within our family for making that favorite recipe – and photos of family gatherings where the dish was served! Family history books are another way to share several generation’s worth of history and traditions. Memories are bolstered by having something physical to hold, to look at. Yet memories should be more than a book or a photo. It is time spent with children and conversations had with them, experiences that make memories. My adult sons try to have one on one days with each child. They have a day with one child spending time together. It isn’t the activity they do that is nearly as important as the time spent together. This is something even young survivors talk about. Memories. Those young war victims speak of the meals, the smells, the events, and the time with someone special in their lives and less about a photo or a possession. Indeed war often robbed those young ones of any physical items to hold onto.
The bible like most religions speaks of the importance of the older women mentoring the younger ones. This isn’t relegated to simply grandma mentoring her grandchild. Perhaps you are single or your family isn’t with you. Unfortunately many of our current youth don’t have parents – they’re being raised by single parents or in foster homes. Across the world, wars have made many children orphans being raised by strangers. We need to share with all children equally. Think about the stories many tell about a favorite teacher and the influence that teacher had in shaping their lives and goals. We need to nurture those dreams and give them a sense of belonging. It will be that link to what went before that will give them a real future. It means nothing to simply have survival. Existing without any meaning is nothing. Are you thinking you’ll survive as a lone wolf somewhere – that warrior survivor that legends are made of? Think about that for a quick moment. Think of it aside from the controversy surrounding of which theory is better, to be a lone wolf or to be part of a group. The legend is told from person to person about the lone wolf. He (or she) is no longer but the group talking about the legend is still there.
Are you that selfish an individual that only you should survive and you give no concern to others? Do you WANT others to simply exist without caring if they remain while all vestiges of civilization are gone? We should want to give them hope for something better, for a chance to be better. It’s going to be sense of belonging, the traditions, more than etiquette rules or even religious dogma alone that brings them forward. The only way that is going to be accomplished is if you give them memories of something better. It’s the bigger sense of community helping community to have a future because they have link to the past through those special memories – the ones built of time over the time. This will probably be one of the most difficult aspects of prepping for many of you. Yet it will be the most important one of all. It will mean finding ways to share with others especially the younger ones to share memories with, to BUILD memories for them to cling to. Build the memories of what life is and should continue to be. Show the way forward for them not just in work ethics or politics or religious dogma but in the sense of what humanity is, what civilization means. Those are done through memories of what is important to your family now. It won’t be enough to lecture or to have political rants amongst the adults – take the time to build a foundation for them. Give them something to hold in their memory bank so they will aspire to hold on and not have to dream of returning to to it because instead they will never have let go.